Agenda and minutes
Venue: Craven Arms Community Centre, Newington Way, Craven Arms, Shropshire SY7 9PS
Contact: Governance Services
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
To receive apologies for absence.
Apologies were received from Councillor S Davies and Councillor M Pate.
NAMED SUBSTITUTES (IF ANY)
To receive details of any Executive Member nominated to attend the meeting in place of the voting Member representing their Authority.
Councillor S Charmley substituted for Councillor M Pate.
Councillor L Carter substituted for Councillor S Davies.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
To receive any declarations of interest by members of the Committee in respect of items on the agenda.
To approve and sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 11 October 2016.
That the Minutes of the meeting held on 11 October 2016 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
To update the committee of progress in the delivery of Growth Deal 1 & 2 funded projects; spend against 2016/17 Local Growth Funds (LGF) profile; and ongoing work to bring forward expenditure on current Growth Deal schemes to ensure the LEP spends its full 2016/17 LGF allocation.
To seek approval for the temporary virement of LGF funding between approved LGF1 projects being delivered in order to achieve full LGF spend allocated for projects in 2016/17.
The Marches LEP Director introduced the report. She stated that the programme was two thirds of the way through the 2016/17 financial year but only one third of the way through the projected spend. Projects were being monitored carefully and encouraged to maximise spend. Project promoters were being encouraged to identify any opportunities to bring forward additional spend.
The LEP were proposing to vire funds between approved projects to assist in managing potential underspend and to avoid the possibility of unspent funds being clawed back. A specific significant virement was proposed between the Telford Growth Point and Telford Eastern Gateway.
The director noted that under the approved scheme of delegation any decisions she would make in the future would follow a recommendation from the LEP Board and consultation with the leaders of the three member authorities and the S151 Officer.
The LEP Board had considered and approved the proposal for recommendation to the Joint Committee at its meeting on 30 November 2016.
The chairman asked if virements could take place between authority areas if needed. The director confirmed that this was possible and that flexibility of this nature had been shown in the past, although not as a formal virement.
It was reported that the likelihood of clawback was unclear but that by having robust checks and balances in place and taking appropriate action where necessary the LEP would ensure that funds were not put at risk. Feedback on the governance arrangements from central government had been positive.
It was proposed that the wording of part b of the recommendation be amended to reflect the support of the joint committee for the principle of using virements as a tool to manage potential underspend.
Resolved that the joint committee:
a) Note the update and support the LEP Director in:
i. the request made to all project sponsors to bring forward expenditure on their Growth Deal projects
ii. working to maximise growth deal 2016/17 expenditure and minimise underspend and potential loss of LGF to the LEP Programme; and
b) Agree the principle of virements and vire LGF1 grant between approved LGF1 projects being delivered (principally from Telford Growth Point to Telford Eastern Gateway Project).